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The banking giant confirmed it had sold a 34 per cent slice of Barclays Africa – greater than the 22 per cent that was anticipated – after gaining regulatory approval for the disposal from the South African government.

The lender said it had off-loaded 286 million shares in Barclays Africa, taking its overall stake from 50 per cent to 16 per cent.

The move means Barclays has achieved its goal of “deconsolidating” the Africa business from its accounts.

The company added the decision to sell a bigger stake was “due to strong investor demand”.

Chief executive Jes Staley said the sale of its Johannesburg-listed subsidiary was “a key milestone in the execution of our strategy and the restructuring of Barclays”.

Barclays Africa – which includes the South African branch network Absa – was created in 2013 when 12 banks across the continent were brought together.

It has 12 million customers across 12 countries including South Africa, Kenya and Botswana.

The group said the overall cost of the sale will result in an estimated loss of £1.2billion.


Dulux owner bid dropped

US CHEMICALS giant PPG Industries has abandoned its €26.9billion (£23.3billion) pursuit of Dulux owner AkzoNobel.

PPG had made several informal attempts to take AkzoNobel over, but was continuously rebuffed by the group’s board, which favours its own strategy to accelerate growth.

The decision comes after PPG failed to gain an extension from Dutch authorities on yesterday’s deadline to make a formal offer for the firm.

Bank of England workers in pay row

STAFF at the Bank of England are being balloted on whether to take industrial action over pay. The Unite union branded the bank “arrogant and out of touch” over a below-inflation pay increase imposed on staff.

Unite regional officer Mercedes Sanchez said: “The Bank of England should be setting the highest standards within the financial services industry, not treating its workforce with contempt.”

The ballot, which is due to close on June 21, involves maintenance staff.

Source : EXPRESS

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